The Union government's initiatives to weed out fake drugs from the market seem to be gathering momentum with many Indian pharmaceutical companies adopting SMS-based tracking facility to ensure genuineness of their medicines.
US-based PharmaSecure, a leading global player in providing SMS-based authentication services to pharmaceutical manufacturers, has reported greater acceptance of its track-andtrace facility in India.
This follows major steps taken by the government to eliminate counterfeiting of drugs. Recently, the government made it mandatory for all drugs being exported to carry serial numbers with track-and-trace capability. The notification to this effect was issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to all pharma companies operating in the export market.
|Health in a beep|
- The government has made it mandatory for all drugs being exported to carry serial numbers with track-and-trace capability
- A govt body has approved a unique identifier for all domestic drugs which can be verified through SMS
- US-based PharmaSecure has been bagging more orders to enable pharmaceutical companies to adhere to the new norms
- PharmaSecure has implemented this solution for major brands across India
- A section of drug manufacturers are against this move saying it would necessitate major changes at their manufacturing facilities and escalate costs
- With this, India will become one of the few countries to have secured its supply chain for pharma products
Similarly, the Drug Consultative Committee (DCC) of the ministry of health has also approved a unique identifier for all domestic drugs so that they can be verified by consumers through SMS, a path-breaking initiative taken in the best interest of millions of consumers in the nook and corner of the country.
"The recent DGFT notification and DCC approval are indications of how the Indian government is positioning itself as a global leader in adopting latest technologies to protect its consumers, both domestic and export, against fraudulent practices," said Nathan Sigworth, chief executive officer (CEO), PharmaSecure.
He said his company has been bagging more orders to enable pharma companies to adhere to the new norms. PharmaSecure has bagged a large contract for rolling out SMS-based authentication services to 30 million packages for a top manufacturer having multiple manufacturing facilities across India.
PharmaSecure did not reveal the name of the clients citing confidentiality clauses. Previously, PharmaSecure had implemented this solution for major brands across India, including a 70-million packages coding contract from Unichem Laboratories.
"The fact that our technology has already been successfully adopted in large-scale by top Indian pharmaceutical manufacturers proves our capability to provide quality solutions at a cost that is acceptable to them," said Kishore Kar, director sales, PharmaSecure.
Reportedly a section of pharmaceutical manufacturers are up in arms against the government's move stating that the new changes would necessitate major changes at their current manufacturing facilities and would lead to escalation of their costs.
But service providers have downplayed such fears. "The baseline solution is inexpensive and can be implemented in a few days with minimal changes to the current processes. This can be scaled up to full track and trace in phases as and when the manufacturer decides," said Kar.
When fully implemented, India will be one of the few countries to have secured its supply chain for pharmaceutical products. India is the third largest exporter in the world in terms of volume of drugs. Recently, fake medicines, allegedly made in India, were sold in some African countries creating a bad name for India. The new initiative by the government to serialise every pack of medicine will go a long way in preventing such occurrences, feel experts.
Courtesy: Mail Today